According to a new report by PSA/DNA, as many as 60% of the Babe Ruth autographs they verify turn out to be fakes. As PSA/DNA one of the world's leading memorabilia authentication services, the organization cautions collectors that the percentages of fakes out in the wild could well be even higher. This is because the autographs it verifies are often from already-savvy collectors.
The new PSA/DNA report lays out 2012's ten most "dangerous" autographs that are most likely to be forged for both sports memorabilia and entertainmen/historical memorabilia. As a Babe Ruth-signed baseball could fetch up to $60,000 at auction, these forgeries are often more important than something to impress friends and family.
Coming in second on the sports list is Lou Gehrig, who's signed baseballs are valued at even more than the Babe's. Next is Mickey Mantle, another Yankees legend who tops the forgery list despite the report's statement that he signed an "enormous" amount of items in the 80s. Rounding out the top 10 sports forgeries are, in order, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, and Ted Williams.
Unsurprisingly, Elvis Presley tops the entertainment/historical forgery list, with large numbers of forged autographs showing up in Europe as well as the U.S. It's a similar story for the Beatles, who rank number 2, and whose group autograph memorabilia are rare due to John Lennon's 1980 assassination. The number 3 spot belongs to Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and whose death in August of this year will almost certainly increase the number of forgeries floating around the memorabilia marketplace. The rest of the entertainment/historical category, in order, are John F. Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Walt Disney, and Judy Garland.